Alan Stubbs: ‘My players were magnificent’

Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs lifts the cup. Picture: PA

Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs lifts the cup. Picture: PA

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HIBS boss Alan Stubbs said the scenes at full-time at Hampden Park as fans invaded the pitch would not take the gloss off his side beating Rangers 3-2 to win the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1902.

Hibs, losing 2-1 heading towards the final 10 minutes, completed a stunning turnaround courtesy of Anthony Stokes’ second goal and a stoppage-time header from David Gray.

The full-time whistle sparked a mass pitch invasion that saw both sets of fans clash, with goalposts also broken.

Stubbs told Sky Sports 1: “I wish all the fans had left the pitch so we could celebrate it properly.

“We don’t condone what has just happened, but that is 114 years of hurt. Everyone’s safety is the most important thing. I can understand the euphoria that surrounded it. I don’t condone it, but I understand it.

“It certainly won’t (take the gloss off the result). Whatever comes our way we will take it on the chin, but it will not take away the pleasure and pride of what we have just achieved.”

After on-loan Celtic striker Stokes fired Hibs into a third-minute lead, Rangers turned the match around following Kenny Miller’s header and a stunning Andy Halliday effort.

But Stokes netted his second in the 80th minute before Gray nodded in at the death to ensure Hibs ended a season with a trophy after losing in the League Cup final and missing out on promotion.

“We stuck to the game plan,” Stubbs added. “We knew exactly what we needed to do. If we did that, then we would limit Rangers to not many chances and we did that. I thought the players were magnificent.

“They have had a lot of knocks recently, a lot of bad luck, and in football it doesn’t matter how well you play, if luck is not on your side it is not going to happen.

“When we came through the play-off games we felt a bit like that, like it wasn’t meant to be, but today was meant to be.

“I have felt we were going to win this for the last six weeks. I have dreamt of winning it, I thought we were going to win 3-1 and I wasn’t far away.

“I am pleased for everybody - the club, supporters and the board that have backed me 100 per cent. This is now a reward for what they have done.”